Sep. 4th, 2017

drpaisley: (cock)
Today's experiment actually started last night, when I got an almost-seven pound pork butt (1) from the fridge, decanted it from its plastic shroud and, once I determined it needed no trimming of its external fat, I proceeded to slather it with two tablespoons of Gulden's spicy mustard, then covered it in a mixture of Jack Stack meat and poultry spice rub, some of the jerk seasoning James Hollaman brought me back from his trip to Hell, brown sugar, kosher salt, and granulated garlic.

Once this was applied to all sides of the beast, I broke out my Cajun Injector (not a euphemism) and placed a mixture of apple cider, balsamic vinegar, garlic, and melted butter in various locations deep inside the meat. It then went into the fridge to stew in its new juices overnight.

This morning, I somehow slept until 8a, which put me slightly behind my schedule. Once I felt caffeinated enough
to play with fire, I got a chimney of coals ready, soaked a mixture of hickory and pecan chips plus some fresh rosemary in water, and prepared my Brinkmann smoker, Ol' Artie Deco, for action again. At roughly 10a, the pork went into the smoker, and the sweet scent of smouldering (2) wood soon filled the air. After two hours, I commenced regular basting of the meat with the leftover marinade, along with occasional replenishment of the smoke and coals.

Due to circumstances beyond my control, I was forced to bring it in at 5p, when I wrapped it in foil, poured the remaining marinade/baste over it, sealed it tightly, and put in a 250˚ oven for another 1.5 hours. Once the fantasy football draft was over, I pulled it from the oven and let it rest for 15 minutes while the Julienne potatoes cooked on the stovetop.

On the plus side: it was incredibly tender and moist, even before I ladled some of the drippings over the pulled meat. Margene S. Bahm said it was the best pork she'd ever had (nae2). Paula Helm Murray was equally impressed.

For me, the less good part was that neither the rub nor the marinade had imparted much of any flavor onto the meat. The smoke was good, but I couldn't detect much of the various herbs and spices I had used. Additionally, despite seven hours in the smoker, the bark it developed was not particularly crisp, even before it went into the oven.

Overall, I was pleased for a first-time effort. It's more than edible, and I will be doing this again. I think part of the issue was not having Artie hot enough at the start (his temp gauge reads "cool," "ideal," and "hot," and I've never found a proper gauge that will fit him). Maybe more brown sugar in the rub. Definitely more spice, which will flow.

In any event, a good start. And the lesson is, with the right combination of rubbing and injection, you can make a 99¢/lb. butt taste delicious.

(1) huh-huh huh-huh, butt. Happy now?

(2) For my Canuckistani and British friends.


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